Our Clean Cookstove program not only improves people’s lives; it’s a powerful catalyst, creating momentum for positive social change. Our social programs are designed to capitalize on that momentum, resulting in sustained transformation.
Experience on the ground has also taught us that women and girls are the primary change agents in the transformation of energy, agriculture, and land management practices. So, to help us deliver these programs, we established the For Women Foundation, an independent Foundation designed to further improve the lives of the rural poor and empower women.
Within the first year, we’ve already witnessed how these programs also change their trajectory of hope – from survival to prosperity.
Girls Education Fund
We fund select girls’ educational costs through a partnership with the Government of Malawi’s Ministry of Education. Support includes tuition, living allowances, sanitary items, warm blankets, and tutoring services. Each girl has qualified through national testing for placement in selected schools but has been unable to attend due to a lack of school fees. Support begins in secondary school and continues until the end of schooling (University level included). Each girl resides in a household that has successfully adopted and maintained a CQC cookstove. This access to quality education for women and girls in need will empower them with opportunities and choices to bring positive change back to their communities.
99 girls provided tuition fees and board to attend school.
Bamboo seedlings are supplied to select Clean Cookstove communities to create an easily accessible and sustainable cooking fuel alternative. The bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper) is a dense-clumping and non-invasive bamboo species that grows rapidly. It provides a sustainable fuel source for clean cookstoves and can be used as a building material. Surplus bamboo can also be sold as a source of additional income.
620,000 bamboo seedlings are provided for fuelwood, building, and income generation.
Drip irrigation kits are provided to increase food security during the dry season, improving water efficiency, evaporation and reducing runoff. Household resilience is improved through the availability of nutritious food and provides a modest revenue stream by selling food in local markets. It also builds synergy between a nutritional food source and reliable, clean energy products to ensure continuous access to healthy food.
2000 Irrigation drip kits provided to increase food security.
The garden has really helped my family have more nutritious food... Before, life was very hard. We were poor and couldn’t afford even basic things. Now, my husband helps in the garden, and we have extra greens to sell in the market. We have more income to buy things like tea, sugar, and soap. I can buy school supplies and a uniform for my child. Now I can tell you; I am a pleased woman.
Village savings and loans
The foundation provides access to small loans to fund economic activity to create meaningful opportunities for women to capitalize on time saved through the improved cookstove. Funding is provided to women’s groups to manage and offer individual loans to the rural poor to help them respond to life-cycle events or invest in small income-generating activities such as new businesses in local markets.
80 women accessing microfinance to start businesses.
With the profits, I can pay my child’s school fees, which I had trouble with before. The stove and the business work well together. I cook quickly now and have time to invest in my business.
In partnership with the Area 25 Health Clinic in Lilongwe City, CQC’s Women’s Health Specialist provides weekly training for expectant mothers and their families on the importance of clean cooking, health, and nutrition. As part of the program, all mothers leave the clinic with the parts and knowledge to construct a clean cookstove and bamboo seedlings.
14,000 women and their families provided training, clean cookstoves, and bamboo seedlings when attending the Area 25 health clinic.